October 26, 2017 / 12:21 PM / a year ago

Sri Lankan rupee ends firmer on exporter dollar sales

COLOMBO, Oct 26 (Reuters) - The Sri Lankan rupee closed higher on Thursday, as exporter dollar sales surpassed demand for the U.S. currency from importers, dealers said.

The spot rupee, which traded at 153.90 per dollar during the day, closed at 153.55/65, firmer from Wednesday’s close of 153.80/85.

“Today, there were some exporter (dollar) sales and some inward remittances,” said a currency dealer, requesting anonymity.

“We have seen selling coming in after the rupee touched its all-time low of 153.92 yesterday.”

Dealers said they expect the rupee to weaken by around 4.0-4.5 percent during the year.

The rupee has slipped 2.6 percent so far in the year.

The currency came under pressure early this month due to dollar demand from state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corp (CPC), which stocked up crude oil ahead of an expected fuel price hike, dealers said.

The currency was expected to weaken on generally higher import demand ahead of the national budget next month, dealers said.

The island nation has seen 19.7 billion rupees ($128.30 million) of net inflows into equities this year as of Thursday’s close, and 38.2 billion rupees into government securities as of Oct. 18, official data showed. ($1 = 153.5500 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)

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